Friday, November 15, 2013

Ten Artists, Ten Items, Ten Days

When my friend Mel Kolstad posted on Facebook that she was excited to join this challenge I jumped right in the fray with her:

"On 09/10 this call goes out to artists everywhere.
The first TEN artists to sign up by 09/20 (TEN days) will be accepted.
There is no fee.
Accepted artists will have until 09/30 (TEN days) to receive one of TEN boxes
containing TEN items. Those TEN items must be used, in some capacity, to create an art piece.
There are no rules.
Artists will have TEN days to complete and return their art pieces. An auction will be held at Creative Studios on 10/10. The sales will be split between the artist and the gallery.
The guest auctioneer for this event will be Sherri Columbus."

The challenge is sponsored by:
Erika L. Block, Owner/Director
Creative Studios
5199 Townline Rd
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Then the US Mail cursed me and I did not get my envelope of stuff until Wednesday, October 16th.  So I thought maybe my ship had sailed but Erika said "you have ten days to create your piece from receipt of the materials. Let me know when you have it complete and we'll get it up for auction online. We decided to do the auctions online for ten days per piece to give them maximum exposure nationwide."

So--it is go time, baby!


Here are my ten items:
1) a sheet of white alligator skin paper
2) a sheet of black alligator skin paper
3-7) sheets of advertising
8) a button
9) a shoe string
10)  8 plastic circles

I needed a frame for my effort.  Being an assemblage artist, I went for the Joseph Cornell box thing.  

Then it came time to select the elements from the collage items that I felt I could use.  


Now it came time to decide what would be the feature of the box.  Because the items sent to me did not have a dominate item that could establish a theme I went head hunting a selected the plastic half-head shown above.  

The idea I wanted to express was some type of deity displayed in a retablo.  I thought the box had a altar-like quality to it not unlike:

I decided to develop the head using a technique taught by Michael de Meng called Pin Heady in his online class Distressed Disturbed Disintegrating Dollyheads.  The first step is to use Aves Apoxy Clay to get the head in the frame I had selected.  Then I had to set that aside to harden for about two hours.  

I next prepared the substrate of the box for collaging.  

After the clay had harden, I added some nails into the doll's head.  The last act of the day was to gesso up the head in preparation for painting.


Today's task was to paint the face using acrylic paints.


For day four, the first main task became to collage the elements cut out of the pages into the box.  To get this accomplished, I used a technique taught by Andrea Matus deMeng.  Andrea taught me to think in layers, colors and combinations.  

Then I added the plastic dots.  

The shoe string became the border around the outer edge of the box.  Unseen here, I added the alligator papers to the sides of the boxes in two different shapes.  

As the last step of the day, I attached the head to the box.  For thematic purposes, a nice snakey tongue was added to give the head a folk spirit / religious feel to it.  


I had an opportunity to work on this piece at an event that I helped throw at Valley Ridge Art Studio called Make What Ya Brung #3.  This was a four day event where artists could gather and work on whatever they wished. (Unfortunately, this is probably the last art gathering to occur at Valley Ridge as the Studio is closing.  However, remote workshops are still being offered and you should consider joining one of those--they are great).

My goal on day five was to add something to the dimension of the project as I felt it was too box-like.  My friend Kelley Clarke offered up some screen she had brought and I loved it for this project.


After I got home from the play dates, I was done.  Or so I thought.

In looking at the piece, I still felt that it lacked something dimensionally despite have added the screen over the weekend.  Could the solution just be more screen?

So I made the decision to add some on the east and west sides as well as on the surface of the box.  That's it.  I am done.

And, so we have, Live Totally.

So, if you are interested in my piece or want to see any of the other nine artists' efforts, then head on over to the Creative Studio Facebook page.  Let the bidding begin.  

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